The first comprehensive introduction to the thought of Elisée Reclus, the great anarchist geographer and political theorist, Anarchy, Geography, Modernity presents his groundbreaking critique of all forms of domination: not only capitalism, the state, and authoritarian religion, but also patriarchy, racism, technological domination, and the domination of nature. Not only an anarchist, but also a radical feminist, antiracist, ecologist, animal rights advocate, cultural radical, nudist, and vegetarian, Reclus’ ideas are presented both through detailed exposition and analysis and in extensive translations of key texts, most appearing in English for the first time. The work elucidates Reclus’ greatest achievement, a sweeping historical and theoretical synthesis recounting the story of the earth and humanity as an epochal struggle between freedom and domination, and his crucial insights on the interrelation between personal and small-group transformation, broader cultural change, and large-scale social organization are also explored.
This collection, edited by theorist and activist Clark (The Impossible Community) and poet Martin (Looms and Sonnets), focuses on Reclus (1830-1905), the largely-forgotten French writer, geographer, and anarchist, author of the 19-volume tome, The Earth and Its Inhabitants. The first section summarizes Reclus's life and thought, while the second contains excerpts from his writings, many of which appear here for the first time in English. Having spent time in a Louisiana plantation, Reclus witnessed the brutality of slavery first-hand, which resolved his feelings towards racism and "strengthened his belief in the inhumanity of capitalism." After returning to Europe, he dedicated himself to political writing and activism, becoming well-known in anarchist circles. Despite his new fame, he rejected the idea of taking a position of superiority, and advocated for "complete justice and equality" for women. Railing against "all forms of the state," he held that anyone who gains power in the state, even if it is with the intention of improving conditions, inevitably becomes corrupted by its mechanisms. This illuminating, extensive collection provides a worthwhile introduction to a progressive thinker who was ahead of his time. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.